Rockford History: 1966-1967

Jan 29, 1966 ------ Twelve-year-old Janet Lynn of Rockford captures National Junior Ladies Figure Skating championship in Berkeley, California.

Jan. 31. 1966 ------ Shappert Engineering Co. of Belvidere awarded a $994,470.30 contract for rebuilding Rockford's Jefferson Street Bridge.

March 14, 1966 ------ Rockford City Council takes a big step toward fluoridation by voting 12-5 to purchase chemicals and equipment.

April 18, 1966 ----- CATV of Rockford, a corporation headed by Harley Swanson, wins cable television pact for Rockford on a 16-4 city council vote.

July 13, 1966 ---- Winnebago County supervisors vote 31-8 to create Public Building Commission again to build a new courthouse in Rockford.

July 14, 1966 ----- Tornado devastates Rockford's north suburban area; three hangars are flattened and 20 planes damaged at Machesney Airport.

Oct. 13, 1966 ------ Fluoridation of Rockford's water supply starts after years of debate.

Nov. 8, 1966 ----- Congressman John B. Anderson wins a fourth two-year term.

Dec. 9, 1966 ---- Central Illinois Electric & Gas co. officially becomes a part of the Commonwealth Edison Co. of Chicago.

Dec. 16, 1966 ---- Greater Rockford Toll Bridge Committee Chairman Leif Ingebretsen tells Loves Park City Council the bridge will become free at midnight Jan. 31, 1967.

Feb., 1967 ----- Electronic voting devices are used for first time in Rockford primary election.

April 11, 1967 ------ All common stock of Rockford Newspapers, Inc. sold to Gannett Co., Inc. of Rochester, N.Y.; E. Kenneth Todd succeeded by Paul Miller as chief executive officer. William K. Todd, president, associate publisher and editor, to succeed father as publisher. Ownership change becomes effective April 19, 1967.

April 21, 1967 ------- Killer tornado hits Belvidere in neighboring Boone County. High school is focal point; 17 students and a school-bus driver die at the new building. Highland Hospital also devastated. Loss in millions, more than 125 homes totally destroyed. Total death toll 22 by end of April. Rockford and Winnebago County pitch in to assist, and President Johnson declares Belvidere a disaster area.

May 31, 1967 ---- Rockford aldermen vote 13-7 for ordinance permitting Sunday Liquor sales in restaurants.

June 12, 1967 ---- Property in Five Points area annexed to city of Rockford awarded to Buckbee School District.

July 14, 1967 ----- Demolition of old St. Anthony Hospital building begins. Nine-story, $3 million professional building to be constructed on site.

Aug. 21, 1967 ----- Redistricting of Rockford's 10 wards approved.

Sept. 12, 1967 ----- Commuter Air Service begins flights between Greater Rockford Airport and two Chicago airports, O'Hare and Meigs Field.

Sept. 20, 1967 ----- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awards Rockford $208,410 to plan downtown renewal and civic center on East Rock River bank and sets aside another $3.8 million to launch program.

Nov. 9, 1967 ---- Ground broken by County Board Chairman Thomas Olson and other county officials for tower section of new courthouse on Courthouse Square.

Dec. 8, 1967 ----- Rockford Housing Authority is proceeding with construction of 1,495 housing units including high-rise apartments for the elderly at Chamberlain and North Longwood Streets and in the 500 block of North Main Street, a low income housing complex immediately west of Fairgrounds Park; housing for elderly and low income groups on old Rockford College campus; and 238 low income housing units scattered through the city.

Dec. 13, 1967 ---- Fire destroys historic building which once housed Paramount Roller Rink; more recently Beardsley & Pipe Machine shop; loss $250,000

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